Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Submission to God in Suffering

Suffering is not a welcomed guest nor is it easy to "count it all joy" when we meet trials of various kinds. In Scripture, the book of James has much to say on the topic and I found great peace in the strong hands of my God, as I meditated on the following thoughts this morning.

James reminds us in 5:11, "Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful."

In her devotional thoughts on this passage, Iva May comments, "We think that a compassionate and merciful God removes suffering. No, He converts suffering into something redemptive." May continues by quoting Joni Eareckson Tada: "Suffering is when God uses what He hates in order to accomplish what He loves."

I can only imagine that God the Father looked upon the slaughter of His Beloved Son and despised it. Yet, it was the will of God to crush Him, and for His glory and our joy, it was and continues to be the greatest and most beautiful redemptive work on behalf of sinful man! For all who turn their eyes and hearts in faith to the cross of Jesus Christ can be cleansed from the depravity of sin and preserved from the wrath of holy God.

Submission to God in the midst of adversity is key. It is often easy to submit to the circumstances or to the suffering itself, which leads to bondage and bitterness. But when we submit to God (James 4:7), we can rest assured that He will turn our pain into something redemptive!

"Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good." (1 Peter 4:19).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"I Was Hungry" Food Pantry

We have the extreme privilege of serving our community through the "I Was Hungry" Food Pantry, next Monday and Tuesday, November 15 (4-6 p.m.) and November 16 (11 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.). Many of you have already given generously by providing a food box or a monetary donation and for that we say "thank you" yet, there are other ways that men, women, boys, and girls, of all ages, can serve.

Please prayerfully consider how you would like to help us:

1. by being a greeter and extending a warm welcome to each person God sends our way;
2. by serving at registration;
3. by sharing the Gospel with those who do not know Jesus;
4. by discerning prayer needs and praying with the individual about that need;
5. by keeping the tables and floors clean and free of trash;
6. by carrying their box of groceries to the vehicle;
7. by follow-up contacts and visitation;
8. by committing to pray for each of them daily and seeking the Lord as to how He would have us to help them long term.

It will be a great time of fellowship as the Body serves together in unity and offers food for the moment and the Bread of Life for eternity!

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'" (Matthew 25:34-36)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Normal Christian Life!

Paul David Tripp, in his book, Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands, has termed the following words, penned by Martin Luther, as the description of the normal Christian life:

This life, therefore, is not righteousness but growth in righteousness,
not health but healing,
not being but becoming,
not rest but exercise.
We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it;
the process is not yet finished but it is going on;
this is not the end but it is the road.
All does not yet gleam in glory but all is being purified.

There is no such thing as instantaneous perfection! Boy, that frees me up! But may we be diligently and intentionally learning how to think and act like Jesus Christ in every situation!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Gospel and the Election

How should a follower of Jesus Christ view today's election? Follow this link to see!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Disturb us, O Lord!

Recently, Shepherd Press posted on their blog, the following prayer of English navigator and seaman, Sir Francis Drake (circa 1542-1598), who penned the prayer in 1577, while on his voyage around the world.

"Disturb us, O Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves, when our dreams come true because we dream too little; when we have arrived in safety because we have sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us, O Lord, when with the abundance of the things we possess, we have lost our thirst for the water of life; when having fallen in love with time, we have ceased to dream of eternity, and in our efforts to build the new earth, have allowed our vision of the new heaven to grow dim. Stir us, O Lord to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas where storms shall show thy mastery and, when losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. In the name of Him who pushed back the horizons of our hopes and invited the brave to follow, even the name of Christ Jesus, our Lord."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Discussion Questions from Bro. Matt's A.M. Message on October 18

As usual, Bro. Matt posted discussion questions on his blog to "further our thinking" on the text from the messages Sunday. I have pondered each of them and revised the questions and added a couple more, from the morning message, for specific application to my life and I thought they might be beneficial for other ladies as well. Prayerfully consider each, asking the Lord to show you the areas in your life that need to be transformed by Christ.

"Why Are You A Christian?" (Luke 20:45-47; 21:1-4)

1. Does your husband, children, and closest friends know why you are a Christian?

2. If someone asked your husband, children, and closest friends, would they say without hesitation that there is evidence in your life that you have a new, genuine affection for God?

3. Do you serve your husband and children with joy and in genuine love?

4. What evidence is there in your life when you're at work, standing in line at the grocery store, paying bills, getting a pedicure, eating out, or taking a walk in the neighborhood, that you have a new, genuine love for people and a desire for serving them?

5. What evidence is there in your life, when you're shopping for a home, decor, furniture, a car, clothes, shoes, jewelry, and Christmas gifts, that you see money as something God has given you in order to be a blessing to others and something to give away so you can enjoy more of the presence of God?

6. Are you teaching your children to see money as a gift from God in order to be a blessing to others and something to give away?

7. Have you discussed with your husband about how the upcoming Christmas season and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering can be a means by which your family can demonstrate your affections for money have shifted?

Listen Well!

For moms of children and teens, you might find this article beneficial as you attempt to serve your child well by listening well!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Apartheid - Noel Piper's Reflections and Comments

Please follow the link to this interesting article by Noel Piper. Noel and her husband, John, and daughter, Talitha, are spending some time in South Africa and recently visited the Apartheid Museum. By God's grace, we've come a long way in mending racial differences, but we've got a long way to go in America and abroad! May God forgive us and help us!


I am so thankful I picked up a book this afternoon that caused me to think long and hard about my faith (or may I sadly confess, lack thereof) in the Christ I follow. I had no intention of reading Paul David Tripp's book, Broken-Down House: Living Productively in a World Gone Bad, but merely began to glance through it and I ran across a simple quote that caused me to sit in stunned silence and after I contemplated the vast truth in these eleven words and several more that followed, I could only ask the Lord to forgive my unbelief.

Tripp says this: "'Beliefs' not lived are 'beliefs' that have not been truly believed."

Oh, my!

I've said with my lips that my God is sovereign (and He is, according to Ephesians 1:11-14!), but I've moaned and groaned and complained over circumstances that were difficult to bear. I've said with my lips that God is providentially in control of all things (and He is, according to Job 23:10 and Ps. 107:23-31!), but I've lived like the issues of my life are controlled by other human beings or events. I've said with my lips that my God, who is the Creator of the universe, is able to do more than I could ask or imagine (and He is, according to Ephesians 3:20!), but sadly, I've lived like my God is powerless and puny. I've said with my lips that the Gospel is for all men (and it is, according to John 3:16!), but I've found it difficult to extend that love, grace, mercy and forgiveness to others.

Tripp sums it up by saying, "We may carry around a well-crafted, theologically precise, and biblically consistent worldview. But against the tug of daily living, that professed worldview does not always exercise the pull that it should. At the street level of daily life, the way we actually live reveals what we truly believe." (Emphasis mine.)

I don't want to have just a head knowledge of Christ that speaks of His attributes. I am desperate for God to give me a heart knowledge that knows and trusts and truly "believes" His sovereignty, His goodness, His power, His grace, His tender mercy and forgiveness, His providence, His love, His faithfulness, His sufficiency, His righteousness, His judgments, and His trustworthiness! The kind of heart knowledge that grounds the way I live my life and what His purpose...His story...means for my life!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Meditation for This Evening by C. H. Spurgeon

Many birthday wishes have come my way today, which causes me to be so thankful for the family and friends God has placed in my path, whether for a lifetime, a season, or a moment! You are all a gift to me! I treasure you and praise the Lord for you.

In my devotional reading for today, by no mere coincidence, C. H Spurgeon addressed Psalm 65:11, "You crown the year with your bounty..." with these comments, "All the year round, every hour of every day, God is richly blessing us; both when we sleep and when we wake his mercy waits upon us. The sun may leave us a legacy of darkness, but our God never ceases to shine upon his children with beams of love. Like a river, his lovingkindness is always flowing, with a fulness inexhaustible as his own nature."

(You can read the devotional in its entirety here: Meditation for This Evening by C. H. Spurgeon).

This side of heaven, I cannot know the full extent of God's mercy towards me - I know it is massive if it were only in the gift of His Son, which is the greatest gift of mercy ever offered - but my Father's tender mercy reaches even deeper, much deeper than that with bountiful blessings -unfathomable, immeasureable blessings, a store house full of unseen-by-human-eyes blessings, and all are certainly undeserved - but that's what mercy and grace is all about!

Today, I sing with the Psalmist: "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." (Ps. 103:1-5)

So glad my youth will be renewed...I'm pushing the big 5-0!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Two Announcements!

So glad you checked in! There are two huge announcements I am excited to share with you.

Announcement #1: I'm going to be a grandma (or Tootsie, as I am affectionately called by my grandchildren and others) again! God has miraculously allowed Preston and Rebecca to conceive a child and He is tenderly and meticulously knitting that child together in Rebecca's womb! He has determined a plan and purpose (Ps. 138:8) for that child's life and He already knows the number of hairs that will sprout from his or her bald head (Mt. 10:30). God has given me an incredible love for my unborn grandchild, but my love is no match for His boundless, merciful, unending love for him or her evident at the cross of Jesus! That precious baby, born a sinner and deserving God's wrath, will have the blessed opportunity to know Jesus through the glorious truth of the Gospel.

Announcement #2: I'm going to be a grandma (or Tootsie, as I am affectionately called by my grandchildren and others) again! God has miraculously called Dustin and Beth to adopt a child from Ethiopia and He will tenderly and meticulously knit that child together in it's biological mother's womb! He has determined a plan and purpose (Ps. 138:8) for that child's life and He already knows the number of hairs that will sprout from his or her bald head (Mt. 10:30). God has given me an incredible love for my unborn grandchild, but my love is no match for His boundless, merciful, unending love for him or her evident at the cross of Jesus! That precious baby, born a sinner and deserving God's wrath, will have the blessed opportunity to know Jesus through the glorious truth of the Gospel.

As you can see from these two announcements, there is very little that makes these two exciting situations different and even the things that seem different, aren't really, if you take a biblical look at it. Yes, both of these gifts will graciously be entrusted to our family in differing ways - one through biological birth and one through adoption - but both will ultimately come to us in the same way - from God's providential hands. And yes, with human eyes, these two children will look nothing, absolutely nothing alike, but "the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." (1 Sam 16:7).

I cannot wait to hold these two precious grandbabies in my arms and sing to the top of my lungs, (well, maybe not that loud, but you know what I mean!), "Jesus, loves the little children...all the children of the world...Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight...Jesus loves the little children of the world." I am so thankful that He does...and I want to be just like my Big Brother, Jesus, (through my spiritual adoption into God's family - I'll explain that another time)!

If you would like to follow Dustin and Beth's journey, their blog is entitled, The Least of These, and the link is Since I posted in the comment section of one of their posts, how the Lord has worked in my heart regarding adoption, I won't post it here, so please take time to read it. When God moves, it leaves no room for questions or doubts!

There are many prayer requests I would like to post, but for the time being I will ask the Spirit to divinely lay on the heart of each reader our greatest needs. He knows them better than we do anyway, so please pray for us as He leads you! (Rebecca would ask for relief from all-day-morning-sickness! Thanks!)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Proclaim As You Go!

Sadly, I scramble through many rushed days without ever sharing the love of Jesus with the people that I come in contact with. Harried trips to Wal-Mart, anxious waits in waiting rooms, and even lengthy telephone conversations are rarely seen as divine opportunities sovereignly orchestrated by God to share the glorious Gospel message.

In Matthew 10:1-15, Jesus called 12 men and gave them the authority over unclean spirits and disease. He equipped them completely for the task at hand, commanded their trust in God's provision for their needs, and sent them out. He told them where to go (the lost of Isreal). He instructed them to meet physical needs, such as, healing the sick and afflicted, and raising the dead, but He established firmly the message they were to share with those who crossed their path: "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Christ had come! He had come to bring salvation and redemption, life and light, joy and hope, peace and contentment, to all who believe!

It is interesting that, in this case, Christ didn't tell the disciples to call all the people in the towns together for a church service or a revival or a special meeting. Instead, He simply told them to "proclaim as you go" (vs. 7).

The gracious gift offered by God through the crucifixion of His Son on the cross and His spectacular resurrection is a message that should never be contained in the hearts of those who believe. He's given us the message, He's told us who to proclaim the message to (all nations!), He's equipped us through the power of His Spirit, and He's told us how - proclaim as we go (see also Matthew 28:18-20)!

Will you join me in looking for those opportunities? While standing in line at Wal-Mart - proclaim as we go! While sitting in a waiting room - proclaim as we go! While talking with our children and grandchildren - proclaim as we go! While we're at work - proclaim as we go! While loving the hurting - proclaim as we go! While helping the needy - proclaim as we go! While visiting the sick - proclaim as we go! Whatever we do...whereever we are...let's be intentional to proclaim as we go!